Bellbrook’s Indoor Percussion Ensemble makes it to semifinals in last competition of the season

By Leanne Beane

photo by Heather Newell

In late April, Bellbrook High School’s Indoor Percussion Ensemble performed at their final competition of the season, WGI World Championships.

On Thursday, April 21, the ensemble competed in the preliminary competition at the Nutter Center. After performing in round four at 5:49 p.m, they were awarded 5th place out of 12 groups, securing them a place in semifinals.

The ensemble practicing before semifinals. Photo by Heather Newell

The semifinal competition took place at 1:13 p.m. the next day, where the ensemble once again performed at the Nutter Center. They were awarded 11th place out of the remaining 12 groups in round two, falling short of the requirements for finals.

Photo by Andy Soloman

The ensemble’s show was titled “Rods + Cones” and featured a purple-blue-green prism theme. Members were dressed in blue skin-tight shirts with a purple right sleeve and a green left sleeve, paired with matching black pants and teal and yellow eye makeup. Their props included multicolored sheets for the front of the pit instruments, large prisms with golden tops located behind the battery, and two oversized eyes held aloft by the cymbal players mid-show.

The ensemble waiting to begin their semifinals performance. Photo by Heather Newell

Abigail Larson, a vibraphone player, described her pre-show emotions: “I felt a little nervous, but only because I wanted to show the hard work we all put in. I didn’t want to make mistakes that reflected badly on the entire group.” Despite her concerns, she felt prepared to perform, stating, “Even if something we performed wasn’t 100% solid for me, I would do my best and I knew we were all working together to show it. I was also excited because I learned a new instrument and discovered WGI percussion and I instantly loved it, so I enjoyed being a part of it.”

Her favorite part of the show was the ending; she loved being in the home stretch of the music and feeling the joy of the group. “The energy we bring to it reflects on how we’re almost done, and we’re excited and doing our best to perform and enjoy what we’re doing. Each show performance is short, so that last part of it is always the most fun.”

She thought the season went very well overall and said, “I’m really happy that not only we got to participate in this, but also we won awards. Many of us aren’t percussionists, but we competed against percussionists so that’s a great accomplishment in itself.”

Photo by Peter Bartlett
Abigail Larson playing the vibraphone mid-prelims performance.

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